“Every Day You Make It Is Gravy”: A Machine Gunner In Vietnam

John Villa


John Villa was drafted in 1969 and received his basic training at Ft. Dix, with advanced infantry training at “Tiger Land” at Ft. Polk, Louisiana. He was then assigned to the 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division in Vietnam. Initially he served as a driver for an M-113 working with a tank company, but eventually transitioned to carrying an M-60 on patrols. In this interview, he describes his training, deployment to Vietnam, experiences in country, and return home. He talks about engaging the enemy in places like Quang Tri, Hue, the Rockpile, Con Thien, and Khe Sanh. He loved carrying the M-60 because he controlled the firepower in his platoon. He describes his experiences returning to the United States, and ends by discussing his reintegration into American society after the war.


conflicts Vietnam War
topics Courage Returning from War PTSD
interviewer David Siry
date 21 October 2016


name John Villa
unit B Company, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division
specialty M-60 Machine Gunner
service dates 1969 1971